Ernest Hawkless - notes re Military Service WWI
Ernest served in the 56th Battalion Australian Army - his cousin Sidney George Hawkless also served in the 56th Battalion and they left Australia on the same ship the H.M.A.T. A29 "Suevic " for Egypt and France. Ernest enlisted on the 8th September 1915. He said his age was 29 (when he was really 32), height 5ft 5 ins, weight 9 Stone 7 lbs, complexion florid, eyes hazel, hair dark, religion Church of England. Scar on front of right thigh.
Ernest was wounded in action on the 19 May 1917; the injury was a serious gun shot wound to the head. He was transferred to England, recovered and returned to action in France where he was wounded for a second time by gas on the 24 April 1918. He again returned to England to recover.
was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. The
following text is taken from official government records:
Aust. Infantry Bde. 5th Australian Div. Australian.
Inf. Bn. 3123A. Lance Corporal, ERNEST HAWKLESS
N.C.O. arrived with his unit in France in June 1916, and during the greater part
of his service has acted as Storeman for the Battalion.
has always proved himself to be a most reliable and capable N.C.O. and has been
of inestimable assistance to the quartermaster and the Battalion generally. He
is always cheerful and obliging and has been unceasing in his efforts to improve
conditions for the front line troops.
duties in connection with the issue of rations and stores have been very arduous
and have necessitated strenuous work in all hours of the night under most
difficult conditions. L/Cpl. Hawkless has never spared himself and has always
proved himself capable of dealing with any situation which might arise.
his service he has twice been wounded on the latter occasion as a result of gas
and gas burns sustained during a heavy gas shelling of AUBIGNY when he insisted
on remaining at his post after the remainder of the men had been ordered to
evacuate the village. The service he has rendered, and the manner in which it
has been rendered have been of the greatest value to the Battalion.
Number, Rank and Name have been verified and are correct.
N.C.O. has not received any previous reward.
H. L. Cameron Major, T. Commanding 56th Bn. A.I.F.
Ernest's mother (Mary Annie Mallitt) received the following letter from the Army:-
have much pleasure in forwarding hereunder copy of extract from Fifth
Supplement, No. 31370,
to the "London Gazette," dated 3rd June, 1919, relating to the
conspicuous services rendered by the undermentioned member of the Australian
THE MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL
MAJESTY THE KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the
Meritorious Service Medal to the undermentioned, in recognition of valuable
services rendered with the Armies in France and Flanders:-
3123A Lance-Corporal E. HAWKLESS"
above has been promulgated in "Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, " No
113, dated 6th October, 1919.
W C J. / Major,